A World War I romantic acton drama with an utterly absurd plot and dialog to match. Large cast and good production values for a Mascot film. Neither helps much. The print is in excellent condition. However it appears to be a 2nd-release or TV broadcast edit.
Directed by David Howard US release 1934 UK release 1935
September 18, 2015 Subject:
A World War 1 Melodrama Overly Simplified
This is a well made and for Mascot Pictures an expensive project which I doubt ever made it's negative cost back. Nat Levine was making a ton of money in serials in the late 20's and early 30's but he wanted to make features. In 1933, 1934 and into and beyond the 1935 merger which brought Mascot together with Republic and Monogram, but with little success.
This little picture is a melodrama about war with little of the war being shown and except for high flying action towards the end pretty much stays on the ground. The romance of the story is somewhat contrived. Ben Lyons as the lead is very good. He had been in "Hell's Angel" and he knew the layout, so to speak. Sari Maritza, as the ambulance driver is straight out of "Wings", German style, but couldn't act. This was her last film. James Bush as a German is all handsome, young All-American boy and plays him that way but with a certain sympathy. Erich Von Stroheim always the villain you love to hate isn't that far out there in this picture. He's pleasant a lot. He smiles a lot and he's no more harsh than he has to be. Not sympathetic, as say in "Sunset Boulevard", but not a monster either. This film could have had a better title, but it is a "lost little gem". I enjoyed it. Sound and picture quality is superior. Enjoy.